Me and a friend are leaving for a 1 year tour in a couple of months. We might get some bikes cheaper/for free from Merida, and we have been looking at the Cyclo Cross 5 (http://www2.merida-bikes.com/en_INT/Bikes.Detail.191). A lot of the tour will go trough Africa, so the roads might not always be that good. What do you guys think about this bike as a touring bike? Anybody know if the Tubus Tara and Cargo will fit on it? Any other bikes you recommend instead (preferrably from Merida since we can get a good deal) or parts that we should change?
True North tourer (www.truenorthcycles.com), 2004; Miyata 1000, 1985
Are you sure you want to use a bike with carbon frame and fork for a trip like that?
The technology seems to be improving, but the consequences of failure can be monumental. What concerns me most about carbon components is that they can fail without warning. You will usually be able to see or feel problems with metal long before it gives out, at least with the frame and fork.
I am not talking about frame-destroying crashes, but dings, including microscopic ones, that are the result of the "normal" rough handling that touring bikes receive.
I had a carbon fork on my touring bike, but swapped it for steel after reading an account on this forum: Someone's carbon fork buckled on a steep descend, and the rider smashed his face. My frame had a minor dent, and I began wondering whether the structural integrity of the fork had been compromised. So when I sent the frame for repair, I replaced the fork.